Dorset contractor fined £11,500 for employee fall

by Alex on July 9, 2013

Photo: zappowbang

A Dorset-based contractor was forced to pay almost £11,500 after failing to implement basic safety measures that could have prevented an employee’s disastrous four metre fall.

A problem with a mobile elevated work platform meant that a construction worker who was part of a team replacing a barn roof, was forced to walk across a fragile asbestos lean-to to access the main building.

The only safety measures implemented by the contractor were a pair of wooden crawling boards on top of the lean-to, which were little help when the roof collapsed on December 14th 2011. The worker fractured three vertebrae and broke a rib, leaving him unable to work for nearly two months and ultimately causing him to retrain for a different career.

An HSE investigation found that there were multiple ‘fall from height’ risks at the site, which the contractor had failed to address. As Weymouth Crown Court heard on July 3rd, he neither installed guardrails and staging to distribute weight, nor did he install safety nets or harnesses to reduce the risk of injury in the event of a fall.

“The dangers of working at height are well known, yet poor safety standards and lack of safeguards still exist among some contractors,” said HSE inspector James Powell. “This prosecution should serve as a reminder to all contractors to ensure working at height is properly planned and robust safety precautions are put in place.”

The contractor pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1)(c) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, and was fined £2,000 with costs of £9,440.

Avoidable injuries like this are all too common when proper risk assessment is not carried out. Create your next risk assessment and method statement with HANDS HQ and see how much time you can save, or your money back.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: